Although the exact date of Shakespeare’s birth is debated, it is believed to fall between April 23 and 26, 1564. Today, Shakespeare’s 450th birthday will be commemorated around the world, and celebrations will continue through 2016, marking 400 years of Shakespeare’s legacy since his death on April 23, 1616.
A few of the tributes marking the 450th anniversary of the birth of the world’s greatest playwright include: an elaborate firework display by The Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon that will feature an epic ‘fire-drawing’ depicting Shakespeare’s face; a reciting of every one of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets sponsored by The V&A Museum in London; and the kick-off of the newest interpretation of Hamlet at Shakespeare’s Globe in London before the show embarks on a two-year world tour, visiting every country on the planet.
Shakespeare is credited with penning 40 plays and 154 sonnets over his lifetime, and they have been translated into almost every language on Earth — including Klingon. From school groups to famous Hollywood stars, it is estimated that Shakespeare’s works are being performed somewhere in the world every minute. The London theatre scene is already buzzing with anticipation for the upcoming appearance of the stars of BBC’s Sherlock series who will each appear in the 2014-15 season: Benedict Cumberbatch will play Hamlet at the Barbican Theatre in 2015 while his Dr. Watson co-star, Martin Freeman, will play Richard III at Trafalgar Studios this summer.